Addressing media reports that nearly 100 casual RJs aged above the age of 35 years will be given the sack by All India Radio (AIR), Prasar Bharati has announced that no radio jockey will be fired. Rather, they will have to undergo a voice modulation test to “prove their versatility in front of the mic”.
Following reports that appeared on Saturday, August 9, 2014 in a section of the press, Jawhar Sircar, CEO, Prasar Bharati had tweeted that AIR Director General Fayyaz Sheheryar has been asked not to fire anyone and that the policy is under review.
In the statement issued, Prasar Bharati said, “As as a gesture of goodwill and recognition of the services of several casual announcers/ RJs/ anchors who have served AIR with devotion and loyalty, we have decided not to disturb any RJ aged above 35. Rather, the review panel of Prasar Bharati has decided to subject them to a skill test, entrusting the task to agencies whose neutrality and credentials are beyond doubt. Those currently on the panel of casual RJs, and also those who are aspiring to join the ranks, may take the skill test as and when it is held.”
Sheheryar maintained that AIR has “no plans whatsoever to sack anybody”. “Let all concerned rest assured that AIR has not such designs,” he added.
However, it is not clear what will be the status of the RJs who do not pass the voice modulation test. Meanwhile, a part-time RJ with AIR Rainbow also confirmed to eachange4media that reports of RJs being sacked were just rumours. The RJ further said that a circular was passed regarding the maximum age limit of RJs, but it was withdrawn.
Prasar Bharati said that the news was a “false alarm”. “Some elements want to indulge in sensation-mongering and spread canards against the management of Prasar Bharati,” it added.